Wednesday, April 25, 2012

School Days

 As always, just some glimpses of some of the work the boys have done this week:

Both boys have been working hard with the Asia puzzle map.  Me Too doesn't seem to be learning the name of anything, but can take it apart and put it back together.  Kal-El can identify:  Russia, Mongolia, Japan, China, India, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua, and Sri Lanka.  We still have a lot of work to do.

Kal-El's partially completed drawing of the African food web.  It makes sense to him, that's all that matters.

The weeks is only half-complete and already a lot of math has been accomplished.  Kal-El is back to work on his nine-chain.  He started this a long time ago and was well into the 200's when Me Too became angry with him.  Me Too exacted his revenge by pulling his nine-chain all over the room, scattering the used labels and tossing his trays of unused labels.  No, we did not sit down at a peace table with a rose afterward.  Kal-El was too disheartened to start the work again.  Sunday night after they were in bed I took a few minutes to set the chain up again, re-sort his labels and label the chain to approximately where he had left off.  He was happy to continue his work with that little bit of help.

Kal-El has also continued his work with the snake game.  It is clear to me that he has memorized the addition facts up to ten and the quantities of each colored bead bar because if he sets up his own snake (like he has here) he will only set it up so that every two bead bars comes to precisely ten.  He explained to me that "It's a lot of trouble if you don't.  If you don't, you have to use those white and black bead bars all the time and you have to do a lot of exchanging."  Hmmm...

Me Too completed a full decimal system layout with number cards and beads this week and will begin the collective exercises now.

Oddly, Me Too refuses to let me put away his January version of cards and counters.  It is one of his prized possessions.

Both boys enjoy working with the double-lined blackboards.  Their favorite exercise is to use a small, wet sponge to erase lowercase letters that I have written in chalk as they are doing in these photos.

In reading, Me Too has begun the readers and illustrated poems that I make by hand using text from The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading (I wrote about this previously).  You haven't seen any photos of his "object box" stage because he was in that stage for a whopping two days, over a weekend.  I didn't think it would be that short and thought I had "all the time in the world" to photograph it.  I might pull those out one more time just to get photographs for posterity.

Kal-El has been continuing his word study of long-oo words versus short-oo words.  One of his activities this week was to complete the sentence "Tape this to (something)..." by reading phrases I wrote on index cards.  I enjoyed seeing what he chose to label.  I also enjoy finding them when I'm least expecting it.  I discovered one in the freezer last night.

Both boys also enjoyed working with the balance this week.

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  1. Tell me about the blackboard and the sponge. I've never seen this before.

  2. It is from the Handwriting Without Tears Program. A wonderful program worth looking into if you are not familiar with it...

  3. Looks Awesome!!!!! Great work to both of the boys!!!!! Dont you hate it when you think there will be time to get a bunch of pictures and they finish with it sooner then you thought?

  4. Love the word study activities! What a great school day. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Eavice, I'll post a better explanation of the sponge activity itself on Friday. As jk said, the blackboard itself is from handwriting without tears but is similar to the double-lined boards used in Montessori schools in conjunction with the movable alphabet:

  6. Is your older child using a (very long) mat underneath the thousand chain? And if so, did you make the mat? Is it simply strips of felt sewn together? I have been wondering how to help my child neatly do the work with the thousand chain.

    Rachel L.

  7. Rachel,

    Yes, you can get a little bit better look at it in this post here:

    Ours is felt, but I've seen it done with fleece also.

    Another tip that I haven't done myself is to embroider colored lines at the different stopping points for the different long chains so they know how far to roll it out. So, we could have had brown thread stitched on where the nine chain should stop, light blue where the five chain should stop, etc.,

  8. I love Kal-El's comments on the snake game! It's the opposite of my son, who says, rather dramatically, "When it adds up to 10, it is SO boring!" What about the best of both worlds? ;)

    I've shown my son some of the work your boys do - he says, "They look like fun!"

  9. Wow!!! I LOVE this week!!!!! Big hugs to Ka-El and Me too!!!! you're STARS boys!!!! Yeaaaa!!